Tag Archives: weekend

My Father is Constant Reminder for Why I Never Think Korean-Korean Guy as My Partner.

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I thought things have been going alright between my father and me.  I don’t mean that we started to talk so much and spent a lot of time together under rainbows and flowers and unicorns.  He didn’t pick on me, and I just kept my head low and did my things.  Well, there was a reason things were going too well, because he picked on me. Again. For nothing.

Few days ago, I ordered a gadget which I’ve used back in the States.  My father wondered what it is, so I handed him the manual.

Father: well, if you want me to read it, you’ll have to turn on the lights and get me my glasses.

So I rise from my chair to do them.  Then he said it’s not necessary, he was only joking, and I take everything too seriously.

My reaction?  What the fuck.

If someone handed you a manual, you can surely get your glasses and turn on the lights on yourself.  It’s not that difficult.

Earlier on that day, he said my amount of studying is nothing compared to what he did back in high school and college, and how he studied until he nosebleed. Guess what.  You were in your own country, your mom doing all your laundry and getting your meal.  You just had to study, not to worry about paying the bill on due date, tax filing, location of Korean supermarket and how to manage your movement for weekend shopping so you can do grocery shopping AND still work on your 40 pg paper, and most importantly, constantly worrying about your language skills, because you were studying in your first language.  And you just nosebleed a lot: doctor said you just have weak blood veins in nose.

Today, I was busting my butt off for working on some of the last sections of my online course (I am getting tired of this. Urgh).  It was near dinner time, so I called my mom’s cell to check where she is about.  No answer.  Maybe she’s back at home.  So I called home.  Father answered.

I: Is mom there yet?
Father: No, she’s not here yet.  I’ll call her.
I: No, that’s fine.  I called her a minute ago and she’s not answering.
Father: Okay I’ll call her.

…Did he not hear me? Nevertheless, I said I’ll be back.  On the way back, I had a bad craving for Garden Fresh Pizza from Papa John’s, so I dropped by to pick it up.  I made it back to home, with deliciously smelling fresh-cooked pizza (note: my father doesn’t like “healthy” “vegetable” stuff.  He doesn’t even try it, or try to). I said hello to him, sat down and munched down my pizza.  Then he found me with my pizza.

Father: Is that your dinner?
I: Yes?
Father: Then why didn’t you call me? I’ve been waiting so we can eat together.  What you did is rude.

I was dumbfounded.  Rude? If he is the kind of guy who just can’t eat alone, I’d knew it.  But he is man who can set his own table and eat alone (note2: as a Korean man, he deserves credit for this one).  If I remember correctly, there was no mention of anything like “let’s eat together” or “I’ll wait.”  To be honest, I’d rather drink a cup of milk for my dinner instead of having 5-star French course meal with my father only.

But, what can I say as a powerless daughter of Korean family.  I just said “yes, yes, my fault, sorry about it.”  So I ate my yummy pizza and he had his dinner in the kitchen.

After he finished eating, then he started picking on me again.  That:

– It is so ludicrous that I didn’t even call that I’ll just have my pizza for dinner while he is waiting for me.
* My answer: you didn’t say anything about it.  How the hell would I figure that out?  I’m no mind reader.

– Are you ignoring me? You don’t feel any weight around me?
* My answer: no, more like I want to minimize my contact with you, because I don’t feel like developing a good relationship with someone who can’t put his/her feet to others’ shoes and doesn’t give any single credit to others who are different from yourself.  So I guess my answer to your 2nd question is yes…?

Then he AGAIN complained how I don’t ever greet him in the morning or evening.
*My answer: AGAIN, I have my agenda to run, and my way of getting things done.  You didn’t really call me anyway like other fathers back in my school.  I didn’t complain.  You are complaining.    If you are grown up, you really should not expect others to do it for you.

Of course I didn’t say any of my answers out loud.  I just say yeah, yeah, sorry *munch my pizza*.

He still wants to be babysitted.  He doesn’t understand other family members have their own life and their own things to do, and not everyone will be just sitting there, waiting for him.  He doesn’t think that there are different ways of doing things done; and he thinks it’s bad because it’s nothing like his way.

Unless he approves that there are different ways, and accepts that his daughter grew up in a very different culture/surrounding from his, there will be no improvement.  That’s the minimum starting point.  But now I really don’t hope for anything.

He is a constant reminder of why I don’t like Korean-Korean guys and never consider them as a potential partner.

LSAT and so on

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I finally finished climbing the toughest hill – LSAT, and now working my butt off on all that optional essays and personal statements.  Yes, I feel far much more relaxed than working on LSAT, but it still feels like there is another stone  hanging on my neck.  But, comparing that to my LSAT studying, I really can’t complain.  There’s a short story written by Haruki Murakami – all of sudden, a small middle-aged woman pops up out of nowhere, and just stick herself to the main character wherever he goes.  I feel for the main character.

Three days before the October LSAT, I took prepatory tests, using the three most recent tests.  I did really well – in fact, far better than I expected.  So I was in a good mood.  Maybe it’s because that bread incident that my dad still pests me about, but the result wasn’t good.  In fact, it was far lower than my most recent prepatory tests.  I still think I deserved a bit better score.  I cried my eyes out after I got my scores  – it is upsetting when you really tried hard but get crappy result.  But then, it isn’t my first time and life isn’t fair.  There’s nothing I can do anyway at this point except applying.  I’ve used up my test limits, and I already took a good one year off, devoting everything for the test.

On a positive side, the test was tough.  Actually they set a record for score curve.  LSAT is getting more difficult.  There are schools that weight your undergrad GPA, and I am glad I graduated from university with great national reputation.  Thanks to the economic downturn, I heard that schools give more credit to those who have work experience.  I do have one.  And I will be categorized “international student,” though it feels weird to me.  But as long as my passport stays as Republic of Korea, I will be one, and it doesn’t hurt for application process.  And I’ve been working on my personal statement for a while, so unlike many others, I really don’t have to hustle.  So all I need is to marry off with some American guy and get a green card. Hell yeah. (JK)

Meanwhile, my ex – an US military officer – visited me.  It was surprising.  Since breakup, we didn’t contact each other for about good 2-3 years.  Then out of blue, he contacted me about 2 years ago, saying he will be deployed to Iraq soon, and he wanted to apologize me for unable to handle the situation better.  I accepted it.  Then another 2 years passed.  He e-mailed me, saying he’s temporarily stationed in Dongducheon, got a few days of vacation and would like to spend some time with me.  Sure, why not.  To me, he was distant friend at best.  I expected things to be cool.

Maybe it’s me who is overreacting, but things weren’t so cool.  He said how it is good to see me again.  Alright.  Despite my objection, he insisted on paying for everything.  I did not like this, since I really didn’t want this to be like a date.  He kept checking on me, sometimes just looking at me.  I guess he has some feeling left for me.  Or maybe it’s just because he didn’t get to see many civilian girls.  Or maybe it’s because he went to Afghanistan and Iraq, blowing stuff up.  He is a gentle, caring person.  But I really don’t want to get back into whole romantic relationship thing with him again, unless he is better at handing a relationship with woman and out of military.

Besides, having a conversation with him was a tad bit boring.  When I reunite with a friend, I want to know what changes were there in his/her life.  His stories were pretty much same, since his life revolves around military base.  I don’t know I will send him a Christmas card.  If we were casual friends, I’d sent it.  I still feel bad for him, since he is away from his family, pretty much all alone, and doesn’t get to see his family (I know it can be hard.  Trust me.  CCK with boarding school experience).  But we didn’t start from “casual friends.”  I don’t want to give him any wrong signs, and I really don’t want another headache.  I don’t know.

Sherlock S1E2 – Things I approve and disaprove

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This episode is the most hateddebatable (there, I said it in politically correct term) one in the BBC’s Sherlock, probably the most succesful hit drama of 2010.  I am sure you can find loads of different opinions and critics (especially the lazy writing and so lame stereotypical depiction of Asians) about this episode.  I quiet agree with most of them.  Thus I’ll just pin-point things I approve and disapprove on the 2nd episode, The Blind Banker.

+ Approve

– Some actions
– Some more Sherlock-John relationship
– Some more knowledge on main characters
– Sherlock gets minor counter-punches from “the small little brain”ers

+ Neutral

– Chinese shop selling Japanese “lucky cat,” actually known as maneki-neko.  Yes, it is so very Japanese item and some had a big problem of Chinatown store selling Japanese stuff.  But hey, that’s what Chinatown shops are, all over the world.  They sell pretty much everything Asian.  I don’t take any offense on this.
– “OMG They made all Asians villains! / OMG They killed off all Asian characters!”  Well, they ARE mobs and they are bad characters in police drama, right?  Of course they’ll get arrested or killed off.  It’s not because they are Asian.
– Sherlock “dumbed down.”  Well, please read my 3rd point on Approve section.
– “How come there’s no non-whites?”  Well, we have to remember that this series is based on Victorian British police novel.
– Though I’d prefer sticking with the Canon’s stick-figure passwords, replacing it to Chinese character was not too bad.

+ Disapprove

– A very lazy, stereotypical, unrealistic depiction of Chinese gang:  Like please, “Black Lotus?” It sounds like a lame clan’s name on fantasy-based video game.  I am convinced Stephen Thompson (the writer of The Blind Banker) did not do a proper research.  Had he only refered a bit from Triad or Black Snake Society (the real life Chinese gangs in real world) instead of lame “Black Lotus,” and make sure the gang is doing a proper real-world criminal business (human trafficking into Europe, counterfeit selling, credit card fraud, and/or drug smuggling), the script could be so much better.
– Mob boss on the scene doing Chinese circus:  Like seriously.  Have you ever seen a high-profile criminal revealing his face in public, at the scene?  Heck, even low-level Muslim terrorists always cover their face. I give credit for having a woman mob boss though.
– A very lazy, stereotypical, unrealistic depiction of Asian:
1) An Asian woman who is in charge of tea section in museum.  Yeah, of course!  She’s Asian! She knows everything about tea!  It does not matter she’s an unqualified ex-smuggler! (You need something of MA degree if you want to be in charge of a particular section in museum…)
2) An Asian woman calmly waiting for her tragic death: Yeah of course!  Asians take family relationship so seriously!  They don’t struggle against “destiny,” so of course even if a mob member, who is also her own brother, comes to kill her, she’ll be just sad, submissive and wait to die.  Er…alright, but usually don’t people panic and run for your life when someone comes to kill you off? Including Asians?  Or wait, what kind of professional gang sends a sibling to kill their own family?  Usually they assign someone else as a punishment.

To be honest, it is true The Blind Banker is getting some unfairly harsh criticism, mainly because ep1 and ep3 was superb.  But well, I can’t help summing up the ep2 as:

Stephen Thompson thinking, “Let’s write something exotic and cool…Alright, for exotic, Chinese people.  And let’s throw in some Chinese circus because it’s so cool and exotic and mysterious.  And yeah, some Chinese letter too.  Done and done, exotic and so cool!”  I don’t expect BBC to have a Chinese/Asian proofreader or editor. I’m fairly sure Stephen Thompson either has no Asian friends or been to Asia.  I’m also very sure he didn’t even google for the things he wrote.  Overall, a lazy writing.

BBC, if you can, please make sure you have Asian opinion if you’ve decided to write another stereotypical Asian crap.  It doesn’t have to be Eliot Chang, Margaret Cho, Masi Oka, or Yunjin Park…

Creeping Visitor at Night

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There are moments when terrible loneliness hits hard, out of nowhere.  It comes and attacks you, like a kidnapper sneaks from behind and throws a sack on your face in a speed of lightning.  My last weekend was that.  Nothing sad happened, just like another day.  Or, rather more productive than usual.  As I sat in front of my desktop PC at late night, I felt lonely.  There is no way to explain why.    Technically, I should not be.  I am with my wonderful parents, got a goal to complete, live in a nice place, and though few, made several good friends here.  But still I was lonely.  All of sudden, the fact that none of my dear people are not in presence came into reality – so vivid that I could almost feel it on my skin.  My friends are everywhere – US, here, Japan, and so on.  Suddenly I was yearning for everyone terribly.  I wanted to be with them.  Talking about nothing and laughing.  Air.  Smell.  Lunch together.  Watching TV together.  Whatever.  Everything.  What a paradox that I have friends all over the globe, but at the same time I can’t really reach out whenever I want to.   I was a bit of a lone wolf back in high school.  When I felt lonely, it was because the lack of people who can connect with me.  Now it is because I cannot reach out to them, even though I have those people who can connect with me.

I just couldn’t really sleep.  I mindlessly re-read my e-mails and Linkedin community and did mindless random web searches and clicked continuously.  Only when my digital clock hits 2:45 am I went to bed.

Sun rises and I woke up as nothing has happened.  Well, it is nothing, after all.  Just one of those nights.

But how many more?

Stormbringer, or Disasterbringer

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The well-known life coaching book, Secret.  Paulo Coelho’s novel, The Alchemist.  What do they have in common?

All these two books say: whatever you wish, dream on, be positive and keep up with your effort.  Everything on this world is on your side, and your wish will come true.

I like it, and to some extent I believe it.  But there are some period – let it be day, weekend, week, or month – making you wonder that God hates you for sure and the entire world is against you.  It’s one of those days.  You wake up, open up your fridge to make a delicious scrambled egg, only to find that all of your eggs are expired.  Holy snap, but I’ve already defrosted my bacon and potatoes!  So you head off to local supermarket, but the traffic is bad.  And then you find the supermarket is not open today. you shrug, turn back, and then now someone has crashed your car window and took your car audio away.  You are hungry, wasted your time and gas, and got something stolen.  You wonder – what the fuck is wrong?  Did I do something wrong?  Why, oh why, does God hate me?  I’m sure he hates me!  Maybe because I didn’t go to the mass last weekend? Yeah, one of those days.  Know what I mean?

To me, half of this week was it. As of the end of January, I finished my work from the office I kept ranting talking about on this blog.   I did not want to be a lazy hikikomori bum, and now several plans on my mind, I was so ready to get on the new days.

Day 1.  Internet breakdown.

I thought this is a perfect time to write an e-mail to my dear friends.  So I turned on my modem and computer. Well, something’s wrong .  I could not even connect to Google.  Maybe my computer failed to recognize the connection?  I tried reboot.  Nope, still doesn’t work.  Alright, maybe the cable was loose?  I checked it, rebooted.  Nothing.  Okay, maybe it’s IP communication problem.  I’ll just turn off the modem, wait a bit and reboot.  Still, nothing.  So I tried turning off the modem and my computer.  No connection.  Finally I picked up the phone and called the customer service.  After doing exactly what I was doing for hours, the representative said they will send the maintenance technician on the next day evening.  I knew my mom would be at home, so I said okay.  Turned out, my mom had some last-minute plan change and she would be away.  Great.  It turned out the main cable of our apartment town had a major problem, so instead of sending 300 technicians to each household, they repaired that one main cable.  Next day, the internet was back.  But I failed to write e-mails as I planned.

Day 2.  PC Crashdown.

I turned on my computer, wrote all that e-mails I planned.  One last thing – I tried to install the Korean version of Microsoft Office, so I can review what I learned from my evening MS office class on that day.  Installed the Korean version, and deleted the English version, which was originally installed on the computer.  For some reason, the applications started to go crazy.  Whenever I open one excel file, I would get multiple Excel windows throwing Korean and English ribbon menu.  What the heck?  So I tried pretty much everything.  Tried windows uninstaller released from Microsoft’s official website, direct erasing from explorer, and lastly, touching up the hard drive registry by myself.  Nothing worked.  After 2 hours of researching and trying, I was very annoyed.  Computer, it’s either me or you dying tonight.  I’ll just say I ended up formatting my hard drive and re-installing the entire window, not to mention re-installing of all that drivers, downloading/installing all of my programs, and adjusting settings.  I won, but I went to bed at 4: 30 am, only to wake up on 9:00 am.  Because if you sleep too much, it messes up your sleep cycle.

Day 3. Sleep Deprivation.

It was one of the better days.  Despite severe sleep deprivation, I managed to catch up with Brian, drinking coffee.  I’m usually a tea drinker.  If there is time for me to drink coffee, that was my final exam period in college.  So if I am drinking coffee, that means I am so goddamn frigging tired, probably able to hurt someone if I am further annoyed.  I still pulled myself to the evening MS office class.  But really, for the whole day I was just out of my mind.  How can you be, if you had only 4.5 hours of sleep?  If this day was minus Brian, I would’ve gone crazy.

Day 4.  Cancel, cancel, cancel.

I got up early and went to Yoga studio, so I can make up last day’s missing workout.  The door was locked – it was their weekend off.  So I had no choice but to walk all the way back to home.  I and two other pals, who studied Japanese in college and still passionate about using it, planned to go to this Japanese-Korean language exchange community’s weekend social.  I was excited.  As soon as I finished putting powder on my face, one of the friend called me, saying she can’t make it tonight.  I am not mad at her – her reason was totally understandable.  But there I was, feeling a dark shadow looming over my supposed-to-be wonderful Saturday night.  So I checked with another friend.  He was not fully recovered from his bad sore throat.  What can I do, except pushing it to next week?  By that time I was halfway dressed, so I was back to my pj in 10 minutes.

Then my mom called me, for a dinner out.  Great, my facial powder will do justice.  I was back dressing up, completing my makeup and all ready to go out.  10 minutes later, she called: “Oh my, the traffic is really, really bad.  There’s no way I’m going out for dinner.”  So again, I was back in my pj, with makeup only to be cleansed within 30 minutes.

In sum, I spent about half of this week doing nothing, despite of my willingness.  I absolutely hate it when I am done with planning and also physically/mentally ready to turn on the engine, but everything doesn’t work out and you are forced to turn yourself off.  Then, usually, when you just want to sit back and relax, everything forces you to go on.  For the times like this, even the most religious one can’t help asking: “God, why do you hate me so much?” or at least “God where are you? What are you doing up there?”  Well, if you are too busy, you don’t even have a chance to ask.  It’s uncanny how I wanted to relax a bit for this coming week, but now I have more meetings than this week so I am unlikely to relax, at least for the first half of the week.

Well, well, one of those weeks…I’ll just cross my fingers and hope next week to be a better one.   To be honest, there were some good stuff this week – like delicious dumplings and ramen for dinner.

Jan 22-24 Weekend Sum-Up

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Jan 22 (Fri): I got out of the office a bit early, and headed to the aesthetic salon near my home.  For about $70, you get your face and feet and leg and entire body.  Good deal.  Mrs. Shin, the ownder and also one of the two masseuse in this place is such a hard working woman and I have a lot of respect for her.  She opens her place for 24 hours, and get to see her family who are not working with her – her husband and son – once in a while.  Some might find her a bit aloof.  Unlike many other who works in aesthetics, she rarely talks and a bit clumsy when talking.  But I really do not mind – after all, you go aesthetic to relax and possibly pass out, no? I’ve been known this lady for more than 5 years, and that is when Mrs. Shin was working as an employee or local mokyoktang.  After much trouble – I’ll just say her average earning was higher than others, and there rises the trouble – she managed to quit and opened her own place with her daughter.  Like gyms, aesthetics can cling – like calling you every once in a while, asking you to come and talking about their campaign and such.  Usually at your busiest time.  I find this pretty annoying, so I simply say no.  But Mrs. Shin is exception.  She texts me about twice or thrice per month.  Just like herself – no fancy emoticons, background pics, nothing.  Unlike other aesthetic spams, I give in and call her back.  You can’t just ignore someone who is working that hard and diligent! And she and her daughters are good.  And I get free food that’s really funky good for my health every time I visit there.  So why not going there?  I only wish her and her family the best, and people like her deserves success.

Jan 23 (Sat): After long and winding road of scheduling, I finally managed to hang out with Margaret and her big group of cheery friends.  It was sooooooo good – I really, really needed this kind of social with drinks.  I’ve been busy researching information about my potential target employer and looking for Chinese language school/MS office courses, while going through my colleagues constantly bugging the hell out of me.  Urgh.  There is an ice rink operated by Songpa gu (ward) government – for 87 cents, you get free skate and helmet rental and 90 minutes of free skating.  The skate and rink itself is not superb (duh, it’s free rent, what do you expect?) it was a really good deal. Not only it was fun but also because I haven’t skated for forever!  I used to be a speed skater and while I was skating, I was so tempted to get a new pair of speed skate.   There are several ice rinks open to public – in terms of ice, I would say Taenung is the best but I don’t know about their rentals.  I wouldn’t be surprised if they don’t offer rental service.  There’s another one in front of city hall and Lotte World but it is always overflowing with people, making it impossible to move on ice, let alone skate.  But this one at Olympic Park, I definitely recommend.

So after that fun skating, we stopped by Margaret’s place and then hit the road to good ol’ Hongdae wonderland.  Unfortunately, Margarita Splash was out of enough seats (try hanging out with Margaret.  What originally was a group of two triples within three hours – I am amazed how she makes such a big group of friends quickly!).  So we moved to a local Makgoli place.  It was quiet an international group with no common points, but that is what made it fun. Damn I did not know Makgoli makes your stomach fuller than beer.  We had a Korean photographer, two Korean OLs (maybe three because technically I fall under this category), one Japanese student and two American English instructors.  So it was a big jumble of Japanese and English and Korean thrown all in a bowl.  With drinks.  So you can pretty much imagine.  As the clock hits 11:00 ish, I bid my goodbye – I can’t really keep up that late, and I don’t want to miss my train to home.

From Hongdae (for me, Sangsu) station to my home, I have to change my train once at Yaksu station.  Surprise surprise, when I was about to go downstairs heading to platform, I saw several white guys and Asian guys standing there, talking, and two station officers standing at the entrance of platform with walkie-talkie on it.  I immediately thought, ‘oh shit, bad situation – Korean officers and western dudes getting into a trouble, stay away.’  But it turned out that the officers were there simply to let people know the train is no longer running.  I was relieved, but five seconds later I was a big frustrated.  Only few months ago I changed my train here around 12!  What happened?  I managed to get a cab, but said my destination to department store (No, I wasn’t drunk) – in the end I managed to get to my home safely.

Jan 24 (Sun): My dad’s brunch fever continued this week.  As soon as I opened my eyes on 10:30 morning, my mom was standing in front of me, still in her pj and said, “brunch outside today.”  We went to Butterfinger Pancakes – it’s a restaurant serving typical American style food, like egg, bacon, shakes.  I was super excited to see eggnog on the menu, only to be disappointed to hear they no longer service eggnog.  Darn it.  But the food was good and very large in portion.  Love it. We had to wait for 20 minutes because of the long, long waiting list, but the food was worth it.

While we are eating, there was a family with young kid on the very back of restaurant.  From our waiting the baby kept shrieking, making everyone to turn back once in 15 minutes.  I do understand he is still a young kid, but shouldn’t the parents do something about kid when he is screaming really loud, especially if they decided to bring young kid to a restaurant like this? Like saying “be quiet in public place,” “do not annoy others” or even taking out your kid to outside for a minute? Next to our table, there was a dad and a young son just like this family I talked about.  But they were so different from this family mentioned above.  They were all really gentle and quiet.  The father cuts and passes food to his son, and his son quietly ate it.  When asking for something, the son never raised his voice.  It was two extremes in one restaurant.  I almost wanted to give a nice pat on the quiet kid’s head.

As the “screaming family” leaves the restaurant, I could clearly see it from the looks.  They might have money to afford to come all the way to this posh area of Seoul and have your en-vogue meal called “brunch,” but they clearly does not belong to this town.  They were not local.  The “quiet family” was already different in looks.  Now, please do not get me wrong.  I do not mean to portray myself as a princess living high up in the golden castle, and I hate judging people solely based on their looks or what kind of brand they have.

After many revolutions, bloods spilled and lives lost, most of the westernized/industrialized countries managed to achieve democracy where the importance of social class dropped to near-zero.  As long as you can afford it, nothing stops you from eating wherever you want.  But still, there is a thin, fine line that separates people by group.  And it’s natural.  You can’t hide it even though you wrap yourself in Hermes and Prada and brandishes your seven digit bank account statement.  Actually, doing so only worsen the situation.  No matter what you do, it’s gonna ooze out from you.  And you can’t hide it.

Readers, sorry if I made too much of big deal out of small thing.  But that’s what my family talked about and I agree.  And hey, I’m INTJ, always thinking too much.  Get over it.